REVIEW: Record numbers have fine time at Ulverston festival


THERE will have been some sore heads at work this Monday morning, as Ulverston threw its biggest party of the summer on the hottest weekend of the year so far.

The blazing sun drew thousands of people to the town centre on Saturday for what was surely the busiest Another Fine Fest in its four-year history.

And with so much to cram in, the programme spilled over into Sunday as well, for a second day of family fun, again blessed by the best of the Cumbrian weather.

The action got under way early at the Market Cross and the Melodrome Stage, as families came out early to enjoy the best of the street entertainment. Acts such as Korean dance band Tirikilatops, the Matrix Circus, solo artist Jessica Rose Braithwaite, and the children from the Be.Vocal singing sessions showcasing the diversity that the event is becoming renowned for.

One of the early musical highlights of the day was also the most poignant: the 2pm slot in the Kings Arms courtyard had been due to be filled by Collie Stewart - the Furness-based singer-songwriter who died last month. His close friends the Coulton Brothers, and former bandmates The Roomers came together to perform his music, as his family watched on.

 Jessica Rose Braithwaite

Jessica Rose Braithwaite

They more than did it justice, and although the set was short, it will live long in the memory.

All eleven stages were bustling, as record numbers packed out almost every pub in Ulverston.

Those lucky enough to find space in Amigos Courtyard were treated to an afternoon set from respected Dalton band The Prophets, and indie acts Resuscitate and Kings In Canoes, and the outdoor stage at the Rose and Crown was similarly thriving for sets from bands such as The Chadelics and Cassie.

Although the indoor venues provided little relief from the blistering heat, their shows were equally well-attended: The Coulton Brothers being joined by Jamie Bosanko for another tribute to Collie at the Piel Castle, and young rock band Pariahs displaying boundless energy at the Hope & Anchor, despite the sweltering conditions.

With music running until well past midnight, those that had been out in the sun a little too long began to peel off, but the evening crowds kept the carnival atmosphere going as darkness descended. Blues performer Mark Pratt headlined to another huge crowd at the Rose and Crown, world jazz outfit Valparaíso had the Kings Arms courtyard again bursting at the seams, and a pirate-themed DJ booth outside The Farmers had people partying in the streets. The theme was taken a step further by the Deatbeats, who wrapped up a busy day of performances with a late-night show, again at the Kings.

As is now tradition, The Mooncats wrapped up the live shows at Amigos to a rapturous reception, and The Sun and The Mill were the nightspots to be, with long queues at the door to catch the last of the DJ sets.

With so much going on, any visitors can only ever get a snapshot of everything that the festival had to offer, but nobody could have left disappointed.

It sets the bar even higher for next year's event, with its reputation spreading far and wide.

Review by KARL STEEL

Monday, June 19, 2017 at 3:09PM
Comment on this article

Generate a new code
Comments not OK? Click here to let us know